Giulia Lazzaro is a sculptor and critical theorist. Her practice is always an investigative journey into overlooked and forgotten design. New fragile communities of practice are forged in the making and disseminating of her works. With each new piece the temporary collective of craftspeople, machinists, and enthusiasts together celebrate the failure of design. In 2018 Giulia was awarded the Chairman’s Medal in Fine Art for her work on the MFA at the Glasgow School of Art. Recent exhibitions include: Last Futures, Tramway, Glasgow; and 5/8 Interrogation, Radiophrenia Festival, CCA Glasgow. Born 1989 Melbourne, Giulia currently lives and works in Glasgow, Scotland.
Her piece ‘“Look Book” for The End of The World’ appears in The Suburban Review #14: DETRITUS.
Our Co-deputy Editor, Zoe Kingsley, interviews Giulia about her work.
You’re an artist concerned with histories and myths of overlooked and forgotten design. In your piece, ‘“Look Book” for The End of The World’, published in #14 DETRITUS, an imagining for a potential futuristic design informs your concern. Does this signal a shift in your conceptual perspective or outlook?
At the moment I’m thinking that trends function a bit like Schrödinger’s cat: Every trend is simultaneously on point until someone (a young painter and their patron/a look book author/@dietprada) bears witness and declares a winner. I think the shift in perspective you’ve identified has happened, and perhaps the attention I pay with this piece of writing is on that one moment (right now, now, wait… NOW) when all trends are possible. I worry constantly about the repercussions fashion has on innovation. And when I say fashion I don’t just mean clothing. I mean the way every single manufactured object is designed. With each Spring/Summer collection we could shunt ourselves further toward a bleak universe after reckless material production and consumption. I blame the Olympics, and Lycra, and I don’t think veganism or trendy cafés with pallets for tables necessarily solve the problem. As a fine artist I’m wearing the varsity jacket for The Creators of Material Culture. And what and who constitutes this material is my most pressing concern.
Your practice is primarily based around object-making and sculpture. How does writing figure into your practice?
Writing, for me, is the release valve on the pressure cooker of my object making practice, especially when I travel and don’t have access to my tools and my workshop. I think a lot of artists are the same, we write all the time: applications for grants, reflection and critical analysis, exhibition proposals, artists’ statements (the worst btw) etc. I’ve taken the step to double up with my writing and use these moments to construct meaning like I do with my objects. Publishing with The Suburban Review is an attempt to catch as wide an audience as possible and hopefully with a piece of writing that can allow easy access into my mode of critical thinking. Art should never alienate people. So, in the same way, I’m working on producing objects that evoke a physical interaction and trying to quietly do away with the pretension of “don’t touch me, I’m a work of art.”
Are you working on a particular project at the moment, do you have any upcoming shows our TSR readers should look out for?
I’m currently working on a Sun Lounger for The End of The World (the apocalypse is really on my mind at the moment) made from pallets and old Apple charger cables. The idea is to make the plans open-source so you too can get ready for the sunny end. And I’m working with two fellow artists, Megan Clark and Corinna D’Schoto, on an exhibition embroiled in the politics of dirt. The exhibition is set for Spring 2020 in Glasgow, Scotland. TBH I might have just lied to you. I have no idea what’s in store for me this coming year. Follow me and find out: @gjlazzaro.
You can find more of Giulia’s work at www.giulialazzaro.com